We’ve just been through this particular weekend, and there are, at least, five things you can learn from Black Friday and Cyber Monday marketing strategies.
Since at least 2005, Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been a household name for highly promoted sales after Thanksgiving. We could say that the entire weekend is heaven for retailers on and offline. Fifteen years since, and we’re still struggling to make the most of this unique sales season.
5 Things you can learn from Black Friday and Cyber Monday
And the main reasons are these five things that you can learn from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
1. You Have an Entire Year to Prepare
The greatest misconception of them all is that you have just these two days or week to work for it. Far from it.
The best Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategies start to deploy since the beginning of the year or even the year before. Planning is everything, and you need to place your chess pieces at the right moment during the different times of the year to be able to call a checkmate at this particular event.
It’s not just a few weeks before it begins that you’re going to build a massive email list of people that trust your brand enough to buy your special sale.
You can’t build a network with other brands to partner within just a few days. It takes several weeks to make the necessary deals and agreements to have guarantees that it will all run smoothly.
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2. Build Your Email List
The usual channels to reach your potential audience will be completely crowded and expensive to use during this period. It’s a bidding war and your profit in goods that are already on sale will be drained to zero.
The only channels that won’t have this price increase are the ones that you own. One of the best ones is your Email Marketing list. Email Marketing is still scoring US$42 for every dollar spent. Not only that, email marketing has resulted in 17% more conversion than social networks traffic in e-commerce. That’s insane. Mainly because it costs almost nothing to send an email depending on your email marketing platform.
The thing about an email list is the constant value you can get from it all year long. Not only for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday strategy. In fact, most businesses use their email lists just for this particular time which is wrong in so many ways.
Even if you don’t pay that much to send emails, it’s still vital to reach your subscribers when the time comes. You can’t do that if you just reach them a few times a year. That means that you don’t have a good sender reputation and you’ll end up in some spam folder or worse. Having a history of significant engagement with your subscribers is vital for fabulous Black Friday and Cyber Monday campaigns.
It’s also a great way to create workflows and marketing automation to bring people back to abandoned shopping carts.
3. Create a network of good partnerships
One effective way to explore Black Friday and Cyber Monday season is to make sure that you implement a reliable partner network. That doesn’t build in a day, so you need to put up the work the entire year to make sure that it will all prepared for this particular week.
What kind of partnerships we’re talking about, you might ask? It could be similar audiences’ brands, for instance. Imagine that you’re a camping tent maker and you partner with a camping flashlight brand. The audience might be the same, and you can exchange value in your databases and channels if you partner up. That means a broader reach for your campaign without costing you a dime.
The same can be interesting to work with Publishers of a specific segment where you’ve built a long-lasting relationship. Publishers are eager to communicate what brings more value to their audience. It depends on how you frame it, but it can be a way to widen your reach beyond your brand’s influence.
Some media outlets have a Black Friday and Cyber Monday lists of discounts and sales articles to get more attention. If you make sure that you’re in it, your traffic will have a spike without any extra budget.
4. Affiliates are Black Friday and Cyber Monday best friends
In case you’re wondering why some e-commerce brands get so many sales, one of the reasons is affiliate marketing. Again, it’s not something you can implement just for this season with significant results. You can do it, but it won’t work so well, because affiliates are similar to partners. You need to nurture and have a good relationship with them before the big day. Why? Because, if you don’t, they will promote the brands which they have a better relationship and long-lasting deals.
What is also best with affiliates is that they already know how to push their promos to get the best results from their audience. This means that you benefit from their know-how and strategies without you doing much more than to provide a great deal for them.
Yes, you’re leaving another part of your margin to the affiliates, not mentioning the Black Friday and Cyber Monday discount already thought of. In return, you’ll have a broader audience to communicate, and all the marketing risk is on them.
Start building this network with time and define with each one when they start promoting your deals. It will produce a better result and a coordinated effort to achieve the necessary momentum.
You might consider this cost as a new business fee to get new customers.
5. Brace for Impact
When you’ve done everything to build up the desire and interest in your deals and discounts for Black Friday and Cyber Monday, it’s time to make sure that your infrastructure will hold.
Imagine thousands of hits per minute or second in your e-commerce store coming from all directions. Usually, when we have enough email subscribers, and we launch a sale campaign, it’s not unheard of breaking your site down. Now imagine for a shopping spree like Black Friday and Cyber Monday with people coming from email, affiliates, partners, ads and other channels.
You must have a robust cloud service that allows you to hold during the spike of traffic and keeps delivering an excellent experience to anyone in touch with your brand.
Maybe you need to invest in a web load redundant service just to make sure that you’ll be active during this crazy season. Every traffic hit counts for your bottom line. It’s not the time to be cheap about it. If you get offline, all this work won’t pay off.
Are your payment systems active with credible partners? In this Black Friday and Cyber Monday, they will face a spike in their services as well, so a few may have difficulties to handle the demand. Make sure that you won’t miss sales because of them.
Are your transportation partners APIs working as planned? Ask them if there’s anything you can do to avoid disconnection during this season.
Don’t forget to have enough product to sell if you are expecting a huge demand. It can be daunting to see the sales you could do, and you’re not because your products run out of stock.
Quick Lessons we can take from Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
Preparation is everything.
You need to prepare in advance to get everything right for this particular season. Your strategy must be planned months ahead, and all the pieces set with time. You won’t have a significant email list if you won’t start building it from day one. Everything compounds until Black Friday and Cyber Monday.
If you apply these tips, you only have to make sure you have enough product in stock for when your customers start piling up in your store when the day comes.
What other lessons can you share about your Black Friday and Cyber Monday experience?